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Corson Surname DNA Project Newsletter - 12 July 2005 

Hello everyone, An article about the DNA project will be published in the next quarterly issue of Corson Cousins, which will appear this month. If you don’t subscribe to Corson Cousins, I highly recommend the newsletter for those researching Corson/Colson/Corsa/Vroom ancestors. (Subscription information available here.)

For those not subscribed, the Corson Cousins article will appear on the DNA project website next month.




15 participants, 14 test results reported 

Genetic matches: 1 set of three, 3 sets of two, 5 unmatched 

Genetic family lines: 9 (6 in haplogroup R1b; 1 each in I1a, I2*, and E3b) 

Average time for lab to process a DNA sample: 10.6 days 

Average time from sign-up to receipt of test results: 34.3 days


Division I (New England) – 3 participants, 3 results

No new results since last month. We are still looking for male-line descendants of Samuel Corson (1719-1810) (Div. I-D) and Ichabod Corson (c.1725-c.1800) (Div. I-F) who would be willing to participate.

Division II (Sussex Co., NJ) – 2 participants, 2 results

A participant with the surname Corsa who traces his ancestry to this Division’s progenitor, Jan Corszen (d. 1703), through his son Benjamin Fletcher Corsse (1692-1770) received his results last month. His genetic signature exactly matches that of the first Division II participant, establishing the ancestral genetic signature for this Division! According to this match, Division II descendants belong to the haplogroup (broad genetic group) currently called "I1a".

Division III (Staten Island, NY) – 3 participants, 3 results

No new results since last month. We are still looking for another male-line Vroom descendant of Cors Pietersz (1612-1655) willing to participate, as well as male-line descendants of Benjamin Corssen's brothers Jacob Corssen (1681-1742) and Christian Corssen (1676-aft. 1764).

Division IV (Cape May Co., NJ) – 4 participants, 3 results

No new results since last month. The DNA sample submitted by the descendant of John Corson (ca. 1660-1728) who joined the project last month is being processed by Relative Genetics. His results should arrive by the end of this month.

Division VII (Hunterdon Co., NJ) – 1 participant, 1 result

No new results since last month. The participant from this brick-walled Division has yet to match anyone closely. The distant relatives he contacted have not yet replied.

Divisions XIII, V, VI, and IX – no participants

No new results since last month. We're still working to recruit living male-line descendants of Daniel Corson (1763-1849), who moved from Sussex County, NJ to Ontario, Canada. We're also searching for participants with ancestors from European Corsan / Courson / Curzon / Korson families.

Unconnected – 2 participants

We have identified potential relatives of one of these participants and began contacting them last month. So far, none has been interested in participating.


Now that we know the ancestral genetic signature of Division II, we can compare it to that of Division I to estimate how closely the two Divisions are related in the direct male line. Division I belongs to haplogroup R1b, and Division II belongs to haplogroup I1a. Researchers estimate that the most recent common ancestor to both Divisions in the direct male line lived about 40,000 years ago. Thus, the progenitors of the two divisions, Cornelius Cursonwhit and Jan Corszen, were genealogically unrelated in the direct male line.


You may have heard about the Genographic Project, started a few months ago by the National Geographic Society, among others. It aims to map humanity's migrations around the globe by taking DNA samples from populations living in remote regions. It helps to fund this research by selling participation kits that include a DNA test kit. Once samples are sent to the lab, the lab will analyze mitochondrial DNA of female participants and Y-chromosome DNA of male participants. This latter test is the same test used by participants in the Corson DNA project (though with only 12 markers instead of 43). Over time, we hope that this popular project will attract participants who are related to participants in the Corson DNA project. You can read more about the Genographic Project at


The CCFHA still has $40 reimbursements of test costs available for the next 2 participants. We may be able to find additional funding for participants from particular family lines that would help us establish ancestral genetic signatures. Those unable to submit a DNA sample directly (e.g., not descended in the direct male line) can participate by helping to subsidize the test cost for someone else. For many people, the test cost ($195) is the greatest barrier to participation. Please contact me if you would like to help subsidize a portion of a participant’s test cost.

If you have any questions about the project, interpretation of test results, or genetic genealogy in general, feel free to contact me. If you’d prefer not to receive the newsletter, just ask me to unsubscribe you. The project website contains current and back issues of the newsletter that you can browse. If you know someone who would like to receive this newsletter, please ask him or her to send me an e-mail address to subscribe.

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